Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, TJ Randall

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal, @DevOpsSummit

@ThingsExpo: Blog Post

The 'Internet of Things' and Big Data | @ThingsExpo [#IoT]

The Internet of Things is only going to make that even more challenging as businesses turn to new business models and services

Cloud and Things and Big Operational Data

Software-defined architectures are critical for achieving the right mix of efficiency and scale needed to meet the challenges that will come with the Internet of Things

If you've been living under a rock (or rack in the data center) you might not have noticed the explosive growth of technologies and architectures designed to address emerging challenges with scaling data centers. Whether considering the operational aspects (devops) or technical components (SDN, SDDC, Cloud), software-defined architectures are the future enabler of business, fueled by the increasing demand for applications.

The Internet of Things is only going to make that even more challenging as businesses turn to new business models and services fueled by a converging digital-physical world. Applications, whether focused on licensing, provisioning, managing or storing data for these "things" will increase the already significant burden on IT as a whole. The inability to scale from an operational perspective is really what software-defined architectures are attempting to solve by operationalizing the network to shift the burden of provisioning and management from people to technology.

But it's more than just API-enabling switches, routers, ADCs and other infrastructure components. While this is a necessary capability to ensure the operational scalability of modern data centers, what's really necessary to achieve the next "level" is collaboration.

That means infrastructure integration.

it is one thing to be able to automatically provision the network, compute and storage resources necessary to scale to meet the availability and performance expectations of users and businesses alike. But that's the last step in the process. Actually performing the provisioning is the action that's taken after it's determined not only that it's necessary, but where it's necessary.

Workloads (and I hate that term but it's at least somewhat universally understood so I'll acquiesce to using it for now) have varying characteristics with respect to the compute, network and storage they require to perform optimally. That's means provisioning a "workload" in a VM with characteristics that do not match the requirements is necessarily going to impact its performance or load capability. If one is making assumptions regarding the number of users a given application can support, and it's provisioned with a resource profile that impacts that support, it can lead to degrading performance or availability.

What that means is the systems responsible for provisioning "workloads" must be able to match resource requirements with the workload, as well as understand current (and predicted) demand in terms of users, connections and network consumption rates.

Data, is the key. Measurements of performance, rates of queries, number of users, and the resulting impact on the workload must be captured. But more than that, it must be shared with the systems responsible for provisioning and scaling the workloads.

Location Matters

This is not a new concept, that we should be able to share data across systems and services to ensure the best fit for provisioning and seamless scale demanded of modern architectures. A 2007 SIGMOD paper, "Automated and On-Demand Provisioning of Virtual Machines for Database Applications" as well as a 2010 IEEE paper, "Dynamic Provisioning Modeling for Virtualized Multi-tier Applications in Cloud Data Center" discuss the need for such provisioning models and the resulting architectures rely heavily on the collaboration of the data center components responsible for measuring, managing and provisioning workloads in cloud computing environments through integration.

The location of a workload, you see, matters. Not location as in "on-premise" or "off-premise", though that certainly has an impact, but the location within the data center matters to the overall performance and scale of the applications composed from those workloads. The location of a specific workload comparative to other components impacts availability and traffic patterns that can result in higher incidents of north-south or east-west congestion in the network. Location of application workloads can cause hairpinning (or tromboning if you prefer) of traffic that may degrade performance or introduce variable latency that degrades the quality of video or audio content.

Location matters a great deal, and yet the very premise of cloud is to abstract topology (location) from the equation and remove it from consideration as part of the provisioning process.

Early in the life of public cloud there was concern over not knowing "who your neighbor tenant" might be on a given physical server, because there was little transparency into the decision making process that governs provisioning of instances in public cloud environments. The depth of such decisions appeared to - and still appear to - be made based on your preference for the "size" of an instance. Obviously, Amazon or Azure or Google is not going to provision a "large" instance where only a "small" will fit.

But the question of where, topologically, that "large" instance might end up residing is still unanswered. It might be two hops away or one virtual hop away. You can't know if your entire application - all its components - have been launched on the same physical server or not. And that can have dire consequences in a model that's "built to fail" because if all your eggs are in one basket and the basket breaks... well, minutes of downtime is still downtime.

The next evolutionary step in cloud (besides the emergence of much needed value added services) is more intelligent provisioning driven by better feedback loops regarding the relationship between the combination of compute, network and storage resources and the application. Big (Operational) Data is going to be as important to IT as Big (Customer) Data is to the business as more and more applications and services become critical to the business.

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
"We work around really protecting the confidentiality of information, and by doing so we've developed implementations of encryption through a patented process that is known as superencipherment," explained Richard Blech, CEO of Secure Channels Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Founder of NostaLab and a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, John is a unique combination of strategic thinker, marketer and entrepreneur. His career was built on the "science of advertising" combining strategy, creativity and marketing for industry-leading results. Combined with his ability to communicate complicated scientific concepts in a way that consumers and scientists alike can appreciate, John is a sought-after speaker for conferences on the forefront of healthcare science,...
"Software-defined storage is a big problem in this industry because so many people have different definitions as they see fit to use it," stated Peter McCallum, VP of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Our strategy is to focus on the hyperscale providers - AWS, Azure, and Google. Over the last year we saw that a lot of developers need to learn how to do their job in the cloud and we see this DevOps movement that we are catering to with our content," stated Alessandro Fasan, Head of Global Sales at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
"We're focused on how to get some of the attributes that you would expect from an Amazon, Azure, Google, and doing that on-prem. We believe today that you can actually get those types of things done with certain architectures available in the market today," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, is an accomplished digital business executive with extensive global expertise as a strategist, technologist, innovator, marketer, and communicator. For over 30 years across five continents, he has built success with Fortune 500 corporations, vendors, governments, and as a leading research analyst and consultant.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Archi...
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Brad Winett, Senior Technologist for DDN Storage, will present several current, end-user environments that are using object storage at scale for cloud deployments including private cloud and cloud providers. Details on the top considerations of features and functions for selecting object storage will be included. Brad will also touch on recent developments in tiering technologies that deliver single solution and an end-user view of data across files and objects...
Hardware virtualization and cloud computing allowed us to increase resource utilization and increase our flexibility to respond to business demand. Docker Containers are the next quantum leap - Are they?! Databases always represented an additional set of challenges unique to running workloads requiring a maximum of I/O, network, CPU resources combined with data locality.
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
"Cloud computing is certainly changing how people consume storage, how they use it, and what they use it for. It's also making people rethink how they architect their environment," stated Brad Winett, Senior Technologist for DDN Storage, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settl...
"Venafi has a platform that allows you to manage, centralize and automate the complete life cycle of keys and certificates within the organization," explained Gina Osmond, Sr. Field Marketing Manager at Venafi, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Digital transformation has increased the pace of business creating a productivity divide between the technology haves and have nots. Managing financial information on spreadsheets and piecing together insight from numerous disconnected systems is no longer an option. Rapid market changes and aggressive competition are motivating business leaders to reevaluate legacy technology investments in search of modern technologies to achieve greater agility, reduced costs and organizational efficiencies. ...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.